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What is Fracking?

Fracking makes once-blocked oil reserves available.

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Every day, you use oil products that make your life better and easier. Thanks to advances in a technology called hydraulic fracturing – “fracking” for short – America now has plenty of oil and gas and doesn’t have to rely on other countries for energy. That’s great, but what is fracking?

Old School Oil

In the old days, oil was trapped in the ground under certain types of rock, and all you needed to do to get the oil was to drill a hole and pump it up. All over the Midwest, one can find these oil pumps, and many of them are still in operation.

U.S. oil production peaked in the 1970s, and to continue its lifestyle, America had to import more and more oil from foreign nations. Many of these were dictatorships. Suddenly they got power over Americans because we needed them.


This started changing around 2005. There is plenty of oil in the ground in America, but most of it is inaccessible in deep rock formations, but by injecting fluid at high pressure, one is able to crack the rocks, which releases oil and gas that can more easily be pumped up.

By 2012, one million “frac jobs” had been performed on American oil wells, and by October 2019, America became energy independent again for the first time in 75 years.

Environmental Concerns

There is no free lunch, and fracking comes at a cost. Some of the gas leaks out of the soil into the air and can cause problems. The cracked rocks can also create small earthquakes. Some of the oil can also leak into the groundwater, which can cause problems for the people and animals that live in the area. So far, the benefits of fracking far outweigh the risks and costs.

Onar Åm

International Correspondent at and Onar is a Norwegian author who has written extensively on politics, technology, and science. He has a mathematics and physics background and has been a technological entrepreneur for twenty years, working in areas ranging from biomass gasification and AI to 3D cameras and 3D TV. He is currently also the Editor of the alternative news site Ekte Nyheter (Authentic News) in Norway. Onar is the author of The Climate Bubble (2007) and The Art of War (2008).

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